New Delhi: The 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) being held at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida entered Day 4 of its 12-day long Conference. With COP14 hosting ‘thematic days’ that focus on the different areas of work of the Convention, “Science Day” was observed today, wherein the outcomes from the recent scientific assessments of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Land degradation were featured.“Bringing science and policy together is a lot like trying tomix oil and water. It seems to be impossible. Science is reductionist. It reduces complex phenomenon into their fundamental parts. Scientists are always testing hypotheses, calculating probabilities and reporting uncertainties. Policy making on the other hand is all about synthesis. Combining elements to try and form a coherent whole” said Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD, Executive Secretary, in his welcoming remarks at the Science Day. This segment of the Rio Conventions Pavilion “Science Day” brings together four major scientific assessments on land conducted over the past two years.
In the past four months, there have been two significant reports- Climate Change and Land by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services conducted by the Intergovernmental Platform of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), both pointing that land has transformed significantly,and are testing the limits of its resilience.
Key messages emerging from the Science Day are intended to inform the high-level segment of the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNCCD, and to stimulate and equip the science community, land managers and civil society organisations with practical ideas for progressing LDN for multiple benefits.
Meanwhile, African countries came together to address land degradation and migration nexus. “Migration linked to desertification, land degradation and drought is not an issue of the future – it is our current reality from Africa to Asia, through South America and the Pacificislands. We cannot afford not to take immediate action – otherwise the world will face an immense crisis”, said Mrs Mariam TraoreChazalnoel, International Organisation for Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Officer,
To address migration driven by land degradation, 14 African countries launched the Initiative of Sustainability, Stability and Security (3S) which aims at restoring land and creating green jobs for migrants and vulnerable groups. The 3S Initiative is starting its implementation phase engaging countries at the highest political level.
In addition, the Secretary,(MoEF&CC),Shri CK Mishra also chaired an Open-Dialogue session on inclusion of activities of civil society organizations within the official programme of work of the Conference of the Parties (COP) at the UNCCD COP14.
India is the host country of UNCCD COP14 beginning from 2nd to 13th September 2019. The Prime Minister, ShriNarendraModi will inaugurate the high-level segment meeting on 9th September, 2019 and will also address the August gathering at the Conference. Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), ShriPrakashJavadekar earlier stated that good outcomes are expected of the UNCCD which will be notified in the Delhi Declaration.
The UNCCD is an international agreement on good land stewardship. It helps people, communities and countries to create wealth, grow economies and secure enough food and water and energy, by ensuring land users have an enabling environment for sustainable land management. Through partnerships, the Convention’s 197 Parties set up robust systems to manage drought promptly and effectively. Good land stewardship based on a sound policy and science helps integrate and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, builds resilience to climate change and prevents biodiversity loss.
The Convention entered into force in December 1996. It is one of the three Rio Conventions along with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). India became a signatory to UNCCD on 14th October 1994 and ratified it on 17th December 1996.